South Korea: Unemployment rate

* indicates monthly or quarterly data series
 South Korea

Unemployment rate

 Latest value 3.64
 Reference 2021
 Measure percent
 Source The World Bank

For that indicator, we provide data for South Korea from 1991 to 2021. The average value for South Korea during that period was 3.38 percent with a minimum of 2.05 percent in 1996 and a maximum of 6.96 percent in 1998. The latest value from 2021 is 3.64 percent. For comparison, the world average in 2021 based on 178 countries is 8.01 percent. See the global rankings for that indicator or use the country comparator to compare trends over time.
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* indicates monthly or quarterly data series

Recent values

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Longer historical series

The unemployment rate in South Korea and other countries is defined as the number of unemployed people as percent of the labor force. The labor force includes the people who are either employed or unemployed, i.e. who don't have a job but are actively looking for one. The labor force does not include people who are not looking for work, children, and the retired.

The unemployment rate seldom declines below 4-5 percent even during boom times. There are always people who move between different sectors of the economy or between cities. When the economy goes into recession, then unemployment can reach much higher numbers, sometimes even in the double digits.

Definition: Unemployment refers to the share of the labor force that is without work but available for and seeking employment.
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